Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

Leadership Attributes and Their Impact on Organisational Effectiveness

Academic journal article ASBM Journal of Management

Leadership Attributes and Their Impact on Organisational Effectiveness

Article excerpt


"The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born - that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born" - Warren Bennis

Focusing on the employee well-being component of positive organisational behavior (POB), this study explores the relationship between organisation provided benefit programmes and POB. Specifically, we ask the question: are employees' use and perceived value of a work-life benefit package associated with their positive attitudes and behaviour in the workplace? Grounded in social exchange theory and the norm of reciprocity, we develop and estimate a model identifying differential relationships of benefit use and perceived benefit value with employee attitudinal and performance outcomes.

It first involves positive subjective experiences, or states, such as past and present feelings of happiness, pleasure, joy, flow, gratification, fulfillment, and well-being. Some feelings will be future oriented, like optimism, hope, and faith. Second, there are positive individual traits, especially the capacity for love and vocation, courage, perseverance, forgiveness, originality, self-determination, self-esteem, and wisdom (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Finally, positivity is about institutions and organizations that enable, or can be made to enable, positive experiences and traits in the service of organizational "virtues," such as responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance, and the work ethic.

Positiveness of Leadership

Positiveness is a recent development in organizational theorizing, focusing on understanding the "best" of the human condition, "positive deviance" and "spirals of flourishing" (Cameron, Dutton, & Quinn, 2003b: 4). It draws on a number of different developments, such as appreciative inquiry and pro-social behavior, but especially positive psychology and its organizational psychology offshoot, positive organizational scholarship. Positiveness has emerged as a response to what some psychologists consider a preoccupation with the negative and pathological in the study of human behavior (Seligman, 1999; Seligman & Pawelski, 2003). Attention, they suggest, should turn to what is good and positive - the finest of individual experiences, intentions, and outcomes (Luthans, 2003; Wright, 2003). Drawing from the studies of POB which focuses on a positive oriented approach of understanding human strengths there by developing positive capacities and managing them effectively for improving the performance of people, this thesis focuses on the traits of Transformational Leadership. When insights of POB and leadership are given to mangers who are highly committed towards building organizational capacity, it results in enhancing performance levels.

As it is a fully conceptual paper and written on the basis of the facts and figures from articles, newspaper and journals, there is some evidence that task and person orientations in leadership are correlated, and a meta-analysis suggests that both of these two orientations correlate with effective leadership and positive outcomes (Judge, Piccolo, & Ilies, 2004). Hogan and Kaiser (2005) point out that effective leadership results in individuals being willing to set aside, to an extent, their personal agendas in order to tackle tasks that move the group's agenda forward, involving both interpersonal and task competencies. It is, therefore, hypothesized that leadership effectiveness will be perceived as being positively related to organizational culture styles that promote employee satisfaction with their co-workers and tasks. As Chemers (2000) noted, "the successful leader is the one who provides subordinates with an atmosphere conducive to the fulfillment of the followers' personal needs and goals" (p. 37). Personal effectiveness is often perceived by employees as the extent to which they have sufficiently met the task requirements of their job, or the extent of their individual productivity. …

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